SEBEWAING, Mich. (AP) — A mentally ill Michigan man accused of making death threats on social media against Democratic politicians and those in the LGBTQ community was charged with illegally possessing guns.
Randall Berka II, 30, is accused of posting various written threats on a YouTube channel, the FBI said in a criminal complaint unsealed Friday in federal court in Flint.
According to the complaint, Berka — who lives with his parents in Sebewaing — said “biden deserves to die,” a reference to President Joe Biden, and that he was “more than willing tot kill whitmer,” a reference to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Berka also wrote, “I’ll kill anyone who tries to take my guns,” according to the FBI.
He appeared in court to hear the charge and was returned to jail to await a March 15 detention hearing. The federal defender office, which is representing Berka, declined to comment.
Berka was involuntarily committed for mental health care in 2012 and declared incapacitated, which bars him from possessing guns or ammunition, the FBI said.
His mother purchased four firearms for him in the past year, but now believes he “should be arrested and put in prison,” the FBI said in the complaint.
She “does not think the mental health treatment is working,” the FBI said.
U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison gave credit to Google for notifying federal authorities about the threats on YouTube.
“We hope members of the community will, likewise, pay attention and report such conduct to law enforcement,” she said.
The case follows the February arrest of another Michigan man who was accused of threatening to kill state government officials who are Jewish. Jack Carpenter III, of Tipton, was indicted Thursday on a hate crime charge.
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